Sustainably managed forests are a proven source of sustainable biomass for bioenergy

The new joint Position Paper “Sustainably managed forests are a proven source of sustainable biomass for bioenergy” by EUSTAFOR, CEPF, COPA and COGECA, UEF, FECOF, and USSE presents the perspectives of forest owners, managers and professionals about sustainability sourcing biomass in relation to the European Commission Proposal on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (RED recast).
President Juncker’s Commission aims to create better regulation, reduce redtape and focus efforts on ensuring effective implementation. With these principles in mind, the recast of the Renewable Energy Directive aims to promote the use of energy from renewable resources and decarbonize the EU. 
The proposal recognizes the role of Sustainable Forest Management and it suggests using a risk-based approach that builds on existing legislation and tools to assess the sustainability of forest biomass, where requirements related to forest management, LULUCF accounting and GHG emission savings are identified. European forest owners, managers and professionals are concerned that the proposed sustainability system for forest biomass risks becoming an impediment to reaching the EU targets to decarbonize the energy sector and might also hinder the possibility of delivering biomass to the market.
Forest owners, managers and professionals invite the EU policy and decision makers to first look at the implementation of existing European and national policies and regulations, which ensure the sustainability of forest biomass sourcing, before taking any action on developing a new regulatory framework with additional, unnecessary burdens.
While recognizing that the proposal acknowledges the existing legislation on forests and forest management at EU and Member State levels, forest owners, managers and professionals strongly consider that interference of the new framework on already-existing legislation and tools should be avoided. If for any reason, such as the necessity to ensure the sustainability of imported biomass, the determination towards regulating the sustainability of forest biomass in the EU bioenergy policy post-2020 continues, a modified risk-based approach is an option if already-existing requirements in the EU and national legislations are taken into account and there is no duplication or unnecessary regulatory burdens.

Published 11/04/2017

Dr. Salvatore Martire

Policy and Communications Advisor

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